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Barack and Michelle Obama Beef Up Production Company After Netflix Deal

US President Barack Obama and US first lady Michelle Obama sit during a break in a taping of 'The View' at ABC Studios September 24, 2012 in New York, New York. Obama is traveling for a two day trip to New York City where he will participate in a taping …
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages
JUSTIN CARUSO

Former president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hired two new executives for their company Higher Ground Productions, according to a report Tuesday.

Variety reports that President Obama praised the two new hires in a statement.

According to a statement, the Higher Grounds team is putting together the company’s slate of projects, after signing a multi-year agreement with Netflix last year, and we can expect to hear more information soon about the initial project line-up.

Swaminathan and Davis will be joined by Qadriyyah “Q” Shamsid-Deen who serves as a creative executive for the company.

“With Higher Ground Productions, we hope to bring people together around common values and uncommon stories—and Priya, Tonia and Q are precisely the people to bring that vision to life,” President Barack Obama said. “They’re masterful storytellers. They’re veterans in the industry. And they not only bring their unique perspectives and life experiences to every project, but they’re committed to finding new voices who have their own stories to tell. Michelle and I couldn’t be more excited about the team we’re assembling.”

The Obamas announced a foray into the entertainment industry in 2018 after they signed a contract with Netflix.

“One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience,” Obama said at the time.

“That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix–we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world.”

The former president later explained that he wanted to use his Netflix shows to “train the next generation of leaders.”

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